During residential and commercial construction projects in Georgia, there is a good chance that things will not go exactly as planned. Unfortunately, in many cases, this means construction defects which are not found until after the project is complete. For Georgia property owners, contractors and subcontractors, it is vital to know how to address these issues and rectify them under Georgia law.
Time limits for construction defect complaints and responses
The claimant must inform the contractor in writing within 90 days after finding a construction defect. The notice of claim must describe the problem and give evidence.
Once the notice of claim has been provided, the contractor will have 30 days to issue a written response. This can be a settlement offer to fix it, an offer to pay for it, or both without inspecting it. The contractor can also propose an inspection of the property to assess the defect.
The contractor might disagree with the assessment that there is a construction defect. If that is the case, then the claimant can bring action against the contractor. The claimant is not obligated to accept a settlement offer. Rejection could be due to it being deemed unreasonable or omitting a part of the claim.
With the offer of inspection, the claimant must allow the contractor and their professionals to assess the property. This must be done within 30 days. After the inspection, the contractor will have 14 days to do one of the following: make a written offer to repair the defects free of charge; make an offer to settle it financially; make an offer to combine a financial payment and repairs; or say they will not repair it and why.
All parties should have legal help
If, for example, a person notices a leak in their roof after repairs or reconstruction was done, then they can complain to the contractor and seek a remedy. Once these alternatives have been explored and no settlement has been reached, it might be wise to initiate construction litigation.
Regardless of whether it is the claimant or the contractor, these cases can be complicated and costly not just financially, but personally. A contractor could have their reputation viewed negatively for performing substandard work. The claimant could face the prospect of extensive damage, reduced property values and the need to pay out of pocket to fix the defects. A legal negotiation could be possible to settle the case or it can be dealt with in court. All involved should have legal assistance experienced with construction law to try and find a solution.